SINCE public libraries first opened they have been used by parents to teach their children basic literacy and numeracy.

Pupils have used public libraries to further their school grades, while students have used public libraries to help them pursue qualifications needed to become the doctors, engineers, scientists, etc. this country needs to function.

Public libraries give people access to the very art, music, literature, etc. which is their cultural heritage. They allow people to learn about other cultures, civilisations, races and religions, creating understanding which breaks down the barriers of discrimination.

Public libraries allow people to access the greatest works of literature that the human mind can produce - works which have opened peoples’ minds to new ideas and concepts – changing the world in which we all live.

Since 2010 more than 200 public libraries have closed in Britain.

Closing a public library will save money, but at the expense of this nation’s future.

CT Riley, Spennymoor.